If you’ve ever watched Dragon’s Den, you could be forgiven for thinking that all you really need to hit the big time in business is a bright idea. While this is undoubtedly an excellent foundation, it certainly isn’t the only ingredient you’ll need.
Setting up a business is not a straightforward task by any stretch of the imagination, and there’s a lot of hoops to jump through before you reach the finish line. If you’re thinking about acting on an ingenious idea and trying to crack the world of entrepreneurship, this guide should come in handy.
Financing a new business
It’s impossible to establish a new company without spending money. The amount of money you spend will vary hugely according to the type of business you plan to launch, but there are likely to be significant costs involved.
It’s so important to determine exactly how much you money you’ll need and how you’re going to obtain that cash. Many people invest their own money, but if your savings won’t cover the startup fees, you’ll need to consider other sources.
You could look for investors, you could apply for a loan, or you could look to bring partners on board. Whichever path you take, you’ll need to plan every step in detail so that you know where your money is going and how you can recoup it in the best way possible.
If you’re not an expert when it comes to finances and accounting, it’s wise to arrange meetings with financial advisers and take a look at what other companies do to maximize efficiency and lower running costs.
Researching the market
Before you take any giant leaps into the unknown, it pays to do your research. To be successful in business, you need to ensure that there’s a market for your company. If you’ve got a product, who is going to buy it?
What other similar products are already on the shelves? How much do those products retail for? Will your product serve a purpose? Are you offering something different? If you’re providing a service, is there a demand out there? Have you got any competitors? Have you got a USP?
Who are you targeting? Research should provide you with all the answers to these questions and help you decide whether or not there’s a good chance that your business will attract attention and generate sales.
Use the information you obtain from surveys and polls, focus groups and consumer trials to shape your business plan, improve prototypes, plan your pricing strategy and design your marketing campaign.
Investing in equipment
Almost every company in the land depends on equipment of some kind to deliver services or products. When you’re working on your finances, and you’re drawing up plans for production and logistics, consider what kind of equipment or machinery you’ll need to get the business up and running and operate as efficiently as possible.
If you’re in the construction industry, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for diggers, towers and mobile cranes for sale and to look into hire costs for machinery you’re unlikely to use on a regular or long-term basis. If you’re kitting out an office for a telesales company, have a look at the latest computer systems and communication programs and equipment.
You may find that investing in cutting-edge tech will cost more now, but save you money in the long-run. If you’re running a hair salon and you’re on a budget, look for nearly new equipment, which will enable you to achieve the same results without spending as much. Whatever kinds of tools or machinery you need, shop around for the best deals and consider buying in bulk to take advantage of lower prices.
Most business owners employ at least one other person, and some companies have teams of hundreds or even thousands of people. If you’re in the midst of planning a grand launch, consider how you’re going to staff your business.
How many full-time roles do you need to advertise and how much do you have available to spend on wages? Once you’ve got a core team, consider how you can access skills without adding to your annual wage bill. There are alternatives to offering full-time contracts.
If you have a seasonal business, for example, consider short-term and temporary contracts. If you work on projects, for example, building houses, you may wish to think about hiring freelancers and working with contractors on specific jobs.
If you run a company that has many different departments, it may be beneficial to weigh up outsourcing options. This can help you to run the business smoothly and effectively for less.
When you’re watching TV, it’s easy to get a rose-tinted vision of what happens when you set up a new business. On the small screen, you don’t necessarily see what goes on behind the scenes. You can’t just design a website or put your name on the side of a van and start touting for customers. You have to make sure that your company is licensed and that it operates according to regulations.
Promoting the business
Once you’re ready to set the world alight with your new venture, it’s time to spread the word and promote your company. Now that you’ve figured out how to get all the cogs turning in the right direction, you need to make people aware of what you do and how you could benefit them.
There are countless marketing methods you can use, and you should utilize the results of market research to design a strategy that has maximum impact. Use methods that will attract your target demographic and try and be original. If you’ve got a brilliant USP, you need to sell it in the best way possible.
Have you got ambitions to be the next business mogul? Have you got a fantastic idea, which you want to turn into a profitable business model? If so, hopefully, this guide will prove useful, and you’ll soon be watching your empire grow.